I'm kidding. There's a lot of [extremely] qualified optimism floating around but this struck me as perhaps the most insulting praise of the bunch from a Mark Maske article (he's great, by the way) which was itself titled unaggressively, Redskins Could Be Test For the Patriots to Pass. It should've added: Then again, Tom Brady could have 7 touchdowns and 400 yards. Anyways, apparently we match up "well" against New England:
A) Talk about the Patriots only anonymously for fear of Bill Belichick and
B) even anonymously qualify a praise of a New England opponent as matching up "relatively well" against the Patriots by pointing out that should one of these well matched teams play their A game, they "might have a chance" against the other when that guy is playing their C game.
So what you're saying is that if the Redskins play inspired football and the Patriots play dogshit, you'll be so bold (anonymously) to say that the Redskins might have a chance at winning? Why wait, let's bust out with the champagne now! Yikes, talk about criticism through faint praise. I'd much prefer comfortable doom-and-gloom.
If a meteor strikes down the entire Patriots starting defense and Tom Brady gets a lethal case of pubic lice then maybe if Chris Samuels morphs into a werewolf prior to the game and is allowed to play offense, defense, and special teams, and we intercept their play calling then, and only then, maybe we'll cover the spread. Place your bets.
The good news is that their coach and our coach really respect each other:
"We'll probably be the biggest underdog in the history of sports. Has anything held up against them? Do you have a game plan that will work against them? If you do, leave it here. Because I don't think anybody else has got one right now. We're going to struggle hard."...
Belichick escalated the niceness with
"He's a Hall of Fame coach," Belichick said. "He's already been recognized for his career to '92, and now he's tacked on more to that with a good team this year." Belichick added "he's the coach that took the one-back offense to a level far above what it was when he started there in Washington."